Music Artist Njordlyd on Making Music Outside of The Traditional Labels

Njordlyd indie artist music“Everything is so genre orientated (with sub-genres to make even more complex). When I make music, I do not think about the genre, I think about the music I want to make (and I believe a lot of people are thinking the same way), but in order to get exposure I need to “label” myself with one or more genres, and often I do not fit, and that makes it a bit frustrating because I strongly believe that what I do is of interest and good quality.” – @cmfaarvang

Live interview November 12 @ 2:20 pm et :
Episode #274 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2015/11/12/episode-274-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW NJORDLYN
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Featuring: Carsten Faarvang
Njordlyd…
“Njord” is a Nordic name that I just really like and “Lyd” means sound, so you could say that Njord is a kind of pseudonym, combined with what I do, which is related to sound, hence Njordlyd (Njord’s sound).

How do you feel about the music business?
Njordlyd: I find it very difficult to get exposure, and to get the right exposure. There are so many options and possibilities, but which one to choose, which ones are a good fit for what you do. There is just too many possibilities and all with a lot of hidden prices / costs. I do not mind fees and payments, but it has to be transparent and make sense (to be fair). At the same time I also feel that in order to achieve something within music, you are bound to make a genre choice before making music, which further means you have to chose the mainstream or popular genres, if you want to really achieve something. Everything is so genre orientated (with sub-genres to make even more complex). When I make music, I do not think about the genre, I think about the music I want to make (and I believe a lot of people are thinking the same way), but in order to get exposure I need to “label” myself with one or more genres, and often I do not fit, and that makes it a bit frustrating because I strongly believe that what I do is of interest and good quality.
Also, I believe there is too many similar options to get music and therefore a lot of good music is simply drowning in “cyberspace”.
Do not misunderstand me, I know that I have chosen a difficult path, that nothing comes easy, that I have to work hard , and I don’t mind, and I work hard, very hard, it’s just that the balance is just not right (and that is not only the music business).
One way of overcoming hurdles is to keep on going and learn from your mistakes, and when it comes to pitfall I try to read as much as possible, and to get feedback and advice from others (where I can).

Do you find that there is too much emphasis on being current and trendy or Is there a balance that you have found helpful in your artistic decisions?
Njordlyd: I talked earlier about genres, and I believe that there is too much emphasis on genres, hence certain genres becomes very trendy and are therefore overshadowing other types of music (or even suffocates them). I have chosen to do what I want to do in terms of music, and not to think about genres, and by that choice my path is much more complicated than if I would have chosen a specific and / or trendy genre. Again, do not misunderstand me, I am aware of my choices and that nothing comes easy, I just think it is a shame that it works this way, because a lot of people are missing out on a lot of good and interesting music. We have to be careful with trends and putting things into boxes, as that gives us less variety, which I believe is not good and not healthy.

What do you like about social media?
Njordlyd: There are quite some options and possibilities, which means you have to make some choices, are you going to use them all, only a few, a selection, which one are good for you, how much time do you have to spend on it, etc. Social medias are essential for a lot of industries (so not only music) and in the end I believe that it is all about how you use the social medias – you need to use them in a new and / or innovative ways to get most out if it, to grow your audience, to get exposure, to get opportunities, to visibly stand out, etc., ……. and that’s the real challenge to overcome.
I am quite introvert as a person, therefore the fact that I can sit by myself and “network” via social medias is really good :o)

How do you feel about releasing singles vs an album?
Personally I will be focusing / concentrating on releasing EP’s and Singles, as it is something that works really well for me. I have a family, so I need to combine music and family life. I can finish an EP within a decent period of time and with the right quality, because the end goal is closer than for an album. EP’s and Singles also gives the option to renew yourself and to be diverse, as well as you can release more constant – I believe it is less straining to make an EP than an album, hence you have more energy to make music afterwards (to continue the process of making music).
Also, by realizing an EP I can start building op an audience earlier than if I was working on an Album, getting exposure, learning about marketing, try to get some live performances to support it – It’s like a constant build up, as well as it regularly gives the audience something to follow.
Of course this will work better when you have released more material, hence I am working hard on a follow-up EP to be released by the end of the year / beginning of next year.

How did you get your start in music or what inspired you to begin?
Njordlyd: I started listening to music as far back as i remember and I have been directly involved with music since 1991 – Just always wanted to be part of music somehow. Together with 2 other guys we released a 4 track EP as “Construction” on our own record label (which was quite rare around that time). Afterwards I continued for a while with one of the guys and did a few more tracks as “Construction”, as well as some ambient music (under a different name). Then I started collaborating with another guy and together we created and released different kind of music / styles up til around 1998.
I have also made a few tracks back then with one of the guys from PegboardNerds :o)
From 1998 and until early 2014 I was still absorbed in music, creating music, but without completing (or releasing) anything.

Hidden Moments…
Njordlyd: I am very detailed and that is also reflected in my music. Take a seat, use some really good headphones, lean back and listen to my music – Then you will understand what I mean, as well as you will understand why I call it Hidden Moments :o)

Is there a back story about how it was written or recorded?
Njordlyd: I had a collaboration that went bad end ended after spending close to 9 month of making music. In the month after I was quite frustrated and not sure what the next steps should be, especially as most of my time making music has been based on collaborations – Though, I knew for sure that I still wanted to continue making music. At that time I was listening a lot to Burial, and I had just read some old interviews about him and how he created his music. Somehow that just triggered something in me and I decided to take out some time and make some music by myself (so no collaborators). I made a massive template, mainly consisting of samples, and together with some analog gear I recorded some long live sessions for future reference and use – Both Hidden Moments and Towards the Night are from that period of live sessions.

Did anything sad or funny happen during the process.
Njordlyd: On one hand it has been extremely hard as I have done this full-time and with no or limited income (and a family). On the other hand, I have had quite some intense creative moments completing “Silent Echoes”, some of the best moments of my life actually. I mostly feel good, and is at my best, when making music and / or working creatively.

Njordlyd indie musicianTell us what we can expect from your music?
Njordlyd: Together with Towards the Night, Hidden moments is part of the first 2 tracks that I have completed and released, and of course this track has been a strong driver for achieving my goal, which was to complete and release “Silent Echoes”, as well as to expose myself as a solo musician and producer.
“Silent Echoes”, which Hidden Moments is a part of, is a 2 track EP consisting of ambient, downtempo and mellow elements (amongst others). It starts with Towards the Night, which gives you a sort of comfortable and familiar foundation. You need to listen very closely, and once settled in, you will then notice all the subtle details, changes and growth (organic and thoughtful growth). The final soundscapes and atmospheres in Towards the Night will then lead you to Hidden Moments, where the sound is a little less familiar, taking you to slightly different musically landscape, making you want to carry on and discover all the “hidden moments” :o)
In short, I love listening to music, I love making music – When I listen to music or is creating music, I hear and feel certain emotions and atmospheres. We are all different, and we all hear and feel differently (luckily). I am currently working on a follow-up EP, and based on what I have created so far, it seems that I will continue this sort of style with long tracks. I guess I want to create a sort of experience of emotions and atmospheres, and give others the possibility to listen to it, enjoy it, and discover their own (individual) emotions and atmospheres.
In the future I hope to turn it all into an audio-visual live experience (I have all the ideas, just need to get them technically solved and done).

Where do you live and what is the music scene like in your town?
Njordlyd: I am from Denmark (Copenhagen), but for the last 14 years I have been living in Den Haag (The Hauge) in The Netherlands. The Hauge is a fairly quite place, which suits me very well as a person – There are a few good places for music and concerts, but Amsterdam is one of the places to go to for Music, amazing city, a lot of respected bands and DJ’s are playing there.

Tell me about one fun thing you like to do that can be music or non-music related.
Njordlyd: I grew up in Denmark and when I was a kid, the winters was quite cold with loads of snow – I really like the silence and sort of damp atmosphere you get when everything is covered with snow. It could both be fun, but also interesting to do a live performance surrounded by snow (out in the snow), though that might not be fun for my instruments :o)

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Njordlyd: Definitely Burial, to see him work on a track (he could probably do a good one in 5 minutes :o) – I just love his approach and the way he has created albums and tracks, he is definitely one of the reasons that I am making music, and keeps on trying. As mentioned earlier, I started out working a bit the same way (after reading about it), and that has given me a good start, even though the music is different.

I am most afraid of…
Njordlyd: My biggest fear is to be taken out of context / misinterpreted – I am well aware how essential social medias are, the power and possibilities, but I am also aware of how bad things can go if something goes wrong, if you are misinterpreted.

My personal definition of success is…
Njordlyd: For me it’s more about what I have achieved and whether I am satisfied / happy with what I have achieved. To me, success has become too strong in it’s meaning.

My biggest hurdle has been to share my music.
I have always been afraid that people would think it was not good, say bad things about it. Music is so personal to me (and probably for a lot of other people as well). But when you are mainly working by yourself, you need to let other people listen to it, in order to give you feedback – they might say things that you do not like to hear, but you need that in order to complete what you are doing, to let them help you see or hear what you might not hear. I am really proud that I have released this EP and by that, crossed this barrier by sharing my music with others for feedback before completing and releasing it (so also a big thanks to those people who have helped me, especially Ken1 Asen & Jemma :o)

My over all goal for my life & career is…
Njordlyd: To make a decent living working making music (mainly the creative part and live performance).

3 Ways that I challenge myself and how each one moves me forward towards my goal.

1) Follow-up EP
Njordlyd: I want to, but also need to make a follow-up to “Silent Echoes”, and I want it to be even better, and that is something that really keeps me going, as well as it plays a very important part of achieving my overall goal.

2) Live set and live performance
Njordlyd: In parallel with making the follow-up EP, I am working on building a live set based on “Silent Echoes” (with some new elements and tweaks not included in the release :o), as well as I am working on building something to support my live performance. Playing live is a part of my overall goal, hence a massive driver.

3) Being diverse
In order to achieve my overall goal I believe it is very important to be open and divers in my approach. Therefore I am also looking into other ways of being creative, which can support my music:
– TV, Film, Games, etc.
– Mixtape
– Keep thinking about ways to use my music

 

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